Abuja – Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday promised to secure the future of Nigerian youths as he formally declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2015.

Atiku declared his presidential bid in Abuja with a promise to ensure “safe and secured lives’’ for the Nigerian youth.

“You, the youth, endowed with fresh ideas, bubbling energy and a passionate desire for change; you are the hope of this nation. Without you, we really can’t talk of a future with hope and confidence.

Atiku's declaration for 2015
Atiku’s declaration for 2015

“That is why the 2015 election is about you. It is about how to ensure that you live safe and secured lives. It is about making sure that you feed well.

“Making sure you receive quality and affordable education and training, secure good jobs, support your own families and contribute positively to the development of our country.

“This is what a responsive and responsible government owes its citizens; this is what our generation owes upcoming generations,’’ he said.

He said APC’s adoption of the Modified Open Primaries in selecting its flag bearers would ensure that candidates who enjoyed the popular will of party members emerged.

He expressed hope in the future of Nigeria, saying “it is inspiring that amidst difficulties, and growing anxiety over the future of our country, our people have refused to succumb to despair and hopelessness.

“This never-say-die attitude gives me immense hope and it is one of the reasons why I can never give up on Nigeria.’’

Atiku chronicled his early life, foray into public service and experiences as the former number two man as platforms to better position him to serve the people.

“I was born in a southern Adamawa village to a nomadic trader and his wife who was a farmer. I grew up as a shepherd and farm boy and the only child.

“At 11, I lost my father. But with the help of my mother and relatives, I pulled out of the doldrums and faced the future with uncommon confidence.’’

He said that he built a “solid reputation as a diligent, hardworking, honest and innovative staff’’ during his 20 years in public service.

Atiku declared his presidential bid at the Yar’Adua Centre, flanked by party faithful, including past governors and serving members of the parliament.

Abubakar is the first presidential candidate to publicly declare his intention ahead of the February 2015 presidential polls.

Abubakar was elected Governor of Adamawa State in 1998 and while still Governor-Elect, he was selected by the PDP Presidential candidate, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as his running mate.

The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected Vice President on May 29, 1999.

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